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Isa's Story

September 27th, 2017

A weekend of miracles

Posted by teri in Uncategorized    

We’ll save those for the end. And since I have been told Roxy and I are designated Tripawds entertainment, I give you Exhibit A:

The scene that greeted me on my arrival home last night. Multi-effort destruction: TP holder and TP from upstairs, dishes and trash bag from under the sink, brand new scrubber things also from under the sink with the foam portion (evidently) consumed, both cat beds from upstairs and (not pictured) the grill cover and brush. There is a possibility the wind caused or at least started the grill cover’s demise. It was on it’s last legs. Other losses include the spatula and some tupperware, the grill brush may have some life left. Please note the empty dog food can in “her” chair. Thank goodness the trash was largely empty. For the record, the cabinets under the sink close with magnetic catches, all I ever needed to keep Isa out – “someone” has figured out how to open them. I have velcro on them now but I don’t think that will last long. I need to come up with another solution. Fast.

In between weekend miracles, I did some remediation. The bottom hinge of the gate in the back fence looked like this:

yes, a nice big strong iron hinge bent enough to leave a gap potentially large enough that someone (besides Wallee) could squeeze through. So now the gate is no longer a gate and looks like this:

Pretty isn’t it? As near as I can tell there’s some sort of contest between us. I try to foil her attempts at destruction; she laughs and finds new, more horrible, methods. I’m pretty sure I’m losing.

Moving on to the initial, albeit subjective, miraculous incident of the weekend: after almost four months of not once acknowledging the existence of the dog door, Roxy started using it Friday night with no effort on my part, evidently simply a matter of motivation. Fall has definitely arrived here (snow on the mountains this morning) and it has been cool enough I want the back door closed. And I have been stinky about getting up and down every 30 seconds to let her in and/or out . The dog door does slow her down somewhat – no more full speed ahead with a head-butt to knock the screen open. No wonder I’ve repaired the back screen door twice this summer. Well, the screen part has been fixed; the chewed up frame has yet to be repaired. One can only do so much.

The true, real and huge miracle:

My neighbors (the good ones) stopped by Saturday. Roxy made her usual sincere promise to eat them when they arrived. I got her harness on psycho dog, not sure how, and put her in time out in the bathroom. Rhae and hubs and I talked for a while and then hubs bailed before the hound was released, can’t say that I blame him. Rhae and I talked a little more and, when she was mentally braced, I put the leash on R and brought her out of the bathroom. A moment of hesitation but no psychotic break, no barking. She walked right up to Rhae, said hello, and sniffed for treats. I almost fainted and had to document the occasion. Bless her, Rhae has been brave enough to have made several attempts with the Roxinator over the past couple of months so between that and the harness and leash, a true miracle:

I wouldn’t say Roxy was 100% relaxed and on board but she was such a good girl! Yes, we did reward with treats – I am not a monster, in spite of what she says.

And I’m counting this as another miracle, although some of you may disagree. The Wicked Witch of the West neighbor? That moved away the middle of the summer? She texted Sunday and wants to make up. I would have bet money I was never going to hear from her again. So I texted back and at some point we’ll talk. I plan to exercise a few more boundaries and a lot of caution with her. I will bet the farm that she will never, ever darken my door. A safe bet don’t you think?

So there’s this week’s litany of destruction and miracles. Stand by.

hugs to all!

September 21st, 2017

Mama Bear gets Riled Up

Posted by teri in Uncategorized    

If it’s not one neighbor, it’s the other …

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the neighbor on the other side has now turned on “us” – complaining about Roxy’s barking. And I can’t entirely blame him. Arguably I’ve not been maintaining as much control over her as I should. Too busy doing things like washing dishes and clothes and cooking. Silly, unimportant things. This is a long post – I apologize. I need to vent. But there are pictures at the end if you care to persevere.

Maybe if he hadn’t been quite as … not sure of the adjective. Well, I have thought of several but none are fit to print. A spectacular exemplar of an entitled white male (my apologies, if any of you reading this fit that description, exceptions to the rule all of you). He said he was done talking to me and would go to the HOA if I didn’t keep her quiet and/or inside and then to the city after that. At one point he told me that if the city takes her away (for barking), they will probably put her down. I told him she was terrified and he contradicted me, said she was aggressive. Undoubtedly, he knows Roxy better than I do (sarcasm font). He can train a dog in three months. What is my problem that I’ve not gotten her trained in three months? But, he admits she was probably/possibly abused in her previous home. (Anyone else see a potential discrepancy in training time between a “normal” dog versus an “abused” dog?) He went on for quite a while, stating a variety of assumptions about Roxy and me on a number of topics. He also made quite a point about his fear of being bitten (again pointing out that if she bites someone, the city will put her down), particularly his hands. So … maybe he should not stick his fingers through the cracks of the fence into Roxy’s yard? My “favorite” quote: “I gave her a treat and she still doesn’t like me!” A treat? And he’s trying to bribe her through the fence – per our trainer a giant no-no. Funny how a superb trainer like him doesn’t know that’s a no-no. Nor, evidently, is he aware that yelling at a barking dog does anything but encourage them.

Probably the initial impetus for him being done with us: he came over last week with some leftover steak to try and make friends with Roxy. I’d just gotten home and he didn’t give me enough time to get her harness on or do any of the other potentially helpful things the trainer has taught us for visitors. She barks and lungs at him, like she does with everyone that comes to the house (sigh), and choking because I could only hold her by the collar. I finally grabbed her around her chest – OMD, her heart was about to beat out of her chest! It broke my heart! I did all the calming techniques the trainer has taught me and he gave her the steak. She calmed down eventually, leaning 90% of her weight on me, and was definitely not happy.

The secondary impetus was likely him being awakened Saturday morning while trying to sleep (10:00 am). Yes, she was being noisy. I admit it. He, of course, does the sensible thing and shouts at her from an upstairs window – remarkably helpful. As soon as I heard his voice, I went out and grabbed her. He harangued me for a while, very angry. Oddly, Roxy was silent from the moment I grabbed her. When he finished, I went inside and had a meltdown for 15-20 minutes and then went out back with the power tools. That had been the plan before our interaction but, because I am evil, I was so very happy I was being noisy. In fact, I am so evil, I am going to find out what time, per the city, that I’m allowed to make noise on Saturday morning, and I will start using the loudest and as many power tools as I possibly can at the stroke of whatever o’clock is kosher. Evil, I tell you.

After all this, I had a long talk with our trainer on Monday – she was so awesome. Talked me down, gave me a few additional suggestions among which was to write him a letter and tell him to (1) ignore Roxy, don’t try to make friends – it’s up to her if she wants to be friends, and (2) mind his own business. I think I love her.

I also started to give her CannaCompanion. We’re only a week in but maybe, just maybe, it’s helping. Oh, and y’all will like this story. This product is our second go-round. I bought another jar of (different) stuff a couple of weeks ago. I gave her one after dinner and I went to bed more or less on time. I woke up in the middle of the night when I rolled over into a giant, cold, wet spot, clearly pee. Spent some time wracking my brain trying to figure out what I’d done that pissed either Roxy or Wallee off so badly. Finally, I fell back to sleep. When I came downstairs the next morning, I found the jar on the kitchen floor completely empty (29 capsules). She had also peed on the couch in her stupor. She was still glazed and mildly uncoordinated but was back to normal by the time I got home that evening. My dog, the stoner!

Also, as she’s gained confidence, the destruction has escalated. I refuse to take inventory of all that has fallen to her puppyhood but I’ll leave you with this example:

Clean living rooms are highly overrated!

Our training is progressing and I am getting educated in how to take care of my hyper-sensitive dog. Our leash issues continue: mostly she drags me along behind her. And obviously if someone comes to/near the house, her threat of eating such brave souls is utterly sincere.

Now if someone has a suggestion for convincing the Roxinator that she should not take the stairs three and four at a time, up and down, I would love to hear it. I cringe every time (and it is every time) knowing how hard it is on her back and how cumulative these things are. Suggestions would preferably be something other than to to put her on a leash – we would simply end up in a heap at the foot of the stairs. Sub optimum.

I am acutely aware of being MIA from the site for most of the summer. Some is that they have been making me work at work (the nerve!). But it’s been hard for me to be here. I can’t contribute any helpful information or insight to the newbies. Arguably, the Roxinator may contribute some entertainment value. And I do miss all of you.

And I spent a good-sized chunk of the summer missing Isa horribly, daily. I understand it’s the way of things not that it makes it any easier. It has contributed to (or caused?) the brain fog I’ve been dealing with for seeming forever. Ran into Isa’s elbow protection for the wound that never healed stuffed in a drawer. I finally built the thing and we never used it or fine-tuned it (suffering from both fit and technical issues). The night I tried it on her the first time was the night she started limping with the secondary OSA lesion – the beginning of the end. Haunted all over again by the mental image of her body in the vet’s truck, one ear fallen over and up, so still. And, on a happier note, a bunch of memories of her happy goof self. So it goes – everyone’s story.

Oh and after all the hoop-de-do with the neighbor, Isa sent me a beautiful white feather. It’s tucked into a picture frame on my desk with the first one she sent.

Okay, moving on now to what I know you all are waiting for – pictures.

Compare and contrast:

Surveying the Kingdom

Now: different dog, different cat, different house/window, same picture(ish):

The windowsill is a “safe zone” for Wallee – Roxy knows it’s nose and paws off, at least she knows it most of the time. There is another window sill available, out of Roxy’s reach, but Wallee seems to prefer this one – go figure. Yes there are throw rugs – you don’t have to be a tripawd to have zero traction on hardwood floors, particularly when Miss Long Legs travels at the speeds she does.

Also evidence of their improved relationship:

I love that picture. And in case anyone is concerned about Wallee’s stress level:

And I leave you with:

Our first selfie!



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